Jackson woman sues man for sexually assaulting her mentally impaired son

By Cara Bailey | Oct 27, 2008

CHARLESTON - A Jackson County woman has filed a civil suit against a man who was charged with sexually assaulting her mentally impaired son while he was in the man's care.

Catherine M. Mefford filed a suit Sept. 12 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Jon M. Landers and REM Community Options LLC. The suit was filed on behalf of Mefford's child, identified in the suit as C.A.

Landers was an employee of REM, a business that provides in-home services and care for mentally and physically impaired and handicapped people, including Mefford's son.

According to the suit, C.A. has two rare genetic disorders, dctodermal dysplasia syndrome and Rapp-Hodgkin's syndrome, and also suffers from mytonic muscular dystrophy and malignant hypothermia, all of which require constant care and supervision.

Landers was assigned to provide in-home care while Mefford was away.

On Dec. 6, 2006, when C.A. was 11 years old, he told his elementary school teacher he had been sexually abused by Landers.

According to the suit, the abuse was reported to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Landers was arrested on Dec. 13, 2006, by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department for sexual assault in the first degree, the suit says. Landers confessed to sexually assaulting C.A. on at least two separate occasions at Mefford's home.

Mefford claims REM had prior knowledge related to Landers' suspicious and questionable work behaviors.

According to the suit, Mefford has lost her son's consortium and kindly services, as well as suffered annoyance and inconvenience, and other damages associated with C.A.'s injuries.

Mefford seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Brent Kesner is representing Mefford. The case has been assigned to Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1766

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